Painting Pumpkins is Hard

I love Halloween. It is so much fun watching scary movies, eating candy, dressing up, and most importantly, carving pumpkins. I used to love carving pumpkins, but it is a lot of time and effort, which is something I just don’t have these days. First, you have to take out all the mushy guts, which weirdly feels cool nice but is extremely messy. Then you have got to draw a design, or if you are lazy like me, tape a stencil to it. That’s really simple, but good luck if there are any small, intricate details because you will probably mess them up. Even if you do manage to carve a decent pumpkin, it will only last about a week or two before rotting away; all that effort reduced to a decaying pile of garbage.

So this year, to avoid the many issues of carving pumpkins, I decided to paint pumpkins instead. That way I wouldn’t have to deal with the mess of pumpkin guts everywhere. I’m rather adept at painting and paintbrushes can make fine details. With these advantages, I couldn’t possibly mess up. Even if I did, I could just paint over it. More importantly, painted pumpkins last months, allowing me to admire my work well past the Halloween season. Everything seemed perfect, but of course, it wasn’t as simple as I expected.

I got some tiny pumpkins, a bunch of acrylic paints, some paint brushes and sponges and a ton of napkins. I decided I would paint each pumpkin like a different character from Winnie the Pooh. Naturally, I began with Pooh and chose to take a minimalistic approach. All I wanted to do was paint the bottom half yellow and the top half red. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong. The paint wasn’t as opaque as I would’ve liked when I applied it with a sponge and I was too impatient to paint several coats. I decided to sit Pooh aside while I tried to find a solution with my other pumpkins. I thought Piglet would be easy and that maybe if I poured the paint directly on the pumpkin and let it drip over it, it would be more opaque. Fortunately, I was right and the pumpkin came out the way I had imagined.

I returned to Pooh and did the same thing, but the dripping was hard to control and I found myself making the mess I was trying to avoid. While I was struggling with Pooh, I looked over at my Piglet pumpkin and saw how beautiful and perfect it was. Originally, I was going to paint darker stripes onto it, but I realized I would probably just end up ruining it. So, I left him alone, fixed Pooh as best I could and let them dry.

I chose to paint pumpkins because I thought it would be cleaner and easier, but I was wrong. The only thing that lived up to my expectations is how long they’ve lasted, reminding me that nothing is as simple as it seems. I didn’t hate painting pumpkins before, but now I think I do. Next year, I will definitely be carving pumpkins instead of painting.

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